In the arena of personality, Paul Krugman gets closer to the truth in his June 8 column, “Lies, Sighs And Politics” where he points out that the policy positions of candidates are a better view into their characters than the theater criticism that passes for campaign coverage. Bush was deceptive early and often with his tax cut proposals — a prelude to his later and larger deceptions on Iraq. Had the media focused on that policy issue, the public would have had a better view of Bush’s personality than the contrived masculinity with which he regaled us.
It is not enough anymore for Democrats to be right on the issues. If the media are stuck on the narrative of effete gender-bending Democrats versus nice-smelling, fight-winning manly Republicans, we Democrats are accepting a handicap difficult to overcome.